• Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Oct 2, 2018
1
0
1
27
#1
Good evening Mr. Fornaro and Mr.Christie,

I am emailing you all to bring to your attention the mistreatment from your staff Jerry Davison as well as Troy Coleman and Manager Frank Jackson. on Sunday September 30th, 2018. While making my first stop in the Detroit airport to check in at the front counter, I carried with me a large check-in luggage, suit bag, and backpack. I checked in my large luggage and paid for it as I did coming to Detroit, but was asked by the person at the front counter that I also have to pay for my suit bag. I let them know that this was something that was not required from Spirit when making my trip to Detroit from Fort Lauderdale and she continued to explain to me that I will either have to pay for the suit bag here or at the airline gate. I took the option of paying at the airline gate which seemed to be a problem for her because she made it a point to follow me and my colleague, who also was having the same bag issue. stood by us when we were in line and when we got to the gate, which at this point I felt harassed. She began to be rude and obnoxious so I asked for her and her partner at the counters name because they both showed very poor customer service and I wanted to be able to let someone know how I was treated and who was treating me this way. After asking for their names several times and them refusing, I then asked for a manager and they gave me their names after that. We paid for our suit bags as promised in the beginning and proceeded to walk down to board the plane. While walking down to board she yelled at us after I scanned my boarding pass and walked through. Once we were seated a manager came and instructed me to de-board the plane. I refused because as a paying customer I deserve the right to know why I am being singled out and told to get out of my seat when a did nothing wrong. I asked multiple times why I needed to get off and no one could tell me. This caused the cops to be called and a ticket issued to me all for poor customer service given by Spirit airlines. I then had to purchase a ticket through a different airline to get home for work on time. When arriving back to my home airport, Fort Lauderdale, I waited for my luggage to come out just to find out my bags were sent to Atlanta, GA. As if this situation wasn’t stressful and inconveniencing enough, my bags being sent to the wrong place after being forced to pay for them topped it all off in the worse way. I then was not even given the option to have my bags sent to my home I had travel 45 minutes to the airport to retrieve them when this was not my fault.i will have to follow up with Detroit police due making everyone leave the plane with their belongings. As a customer this is not how I should be treated. One of your standard products is said that you all have “friendly staff” but I experienced none of this at the Detroit airport and I am highly disappointed and upset about the entire situation.
 
Jul 13, 2016
254
432
63
56
#3
I want to make sure I understand the timeline
You flew Spirit Fort Lauderdale to Detroit, paying only for your large checked piece and carrying on your suit bag and a backpack. For your return flight, you stopped at the ticketing counter to check your larger case, and an agent there insisted on your checking the suit bag as well. You challenged her there, but agreed to pay at the gate. She followed you to the gate (probably to make sure you did make the payment), and there you felt harassed and asked for her name. She and a fellow agent there at the gate refused, until you asked for the manager. You boarded the plane and then refused to de-plane when asked by airline officials. At that point, they disembarked the entire airplane?

You have learned the hard way that in today's world, you cannot challenge any airline worker. If you piss them off, they can and will retaliate. And the airline will almost always side with their employee. Your fatal error was refusing to de-plane. Spirit has probably banned you as well.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,258
5,597
113
48
#4
I have never taken Spirit, and have no interest in trying the airline.

Doesn't Spirit require that one pay for hand luggage like a suit bag? Either prepay or at the airport or the one that costs the most is at the gate.

Every passenger had to deplane because you would not get off?

What was the ticket for?
 
Likes: agnostic

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,934
7,823
113
San Francisco
#5
This is a real shame, Clifford, it must have been an awful experience. This Spirit airline is about the worst in the country I'm told, but the behaviour of the tix agent towards you is way off the charts. I would urge you to use our Company Contacts to complain about how you were treated. Perhaps others will fare better if the employees gain some much-needed training in customer service.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,111
15,587
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Spirit allows one small personal item and charges for every other bag whether it is carry on or checked. If you didn’t pay for a bag in your first flight, they made an error. The second agent was right to charge you for the bag. It is cheaper to pay for it when you book vs. waiting until you get to the airport.

It’s the most expensive when you do it at the desk too. You could have saved yourself a lot of money by doing it with you bought the tickets.

If you go to this site and put in your flight info- you’ll see that there is a fee for every bag, be it carry on or checked.

https://www.spirit.com/OptionalServices#Fare-Price
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,258
5,597
113
48
#7
Neil makes a very good point.

A suit bag is too large to count as a personal item. Your backpack was the free personal item.

By declaring that you did not pay for the suit bag on the way there it sounds like you snuck it on board when you should have paid.

Then you refuse to pay for it at the counter. It costs approximately $10 more to pay at the gate versus the counter.

If one was honestly planning on paying why spend more at the gate versus the counter?

The check in agent likely thought this delayed payment was attempt to not pay at all hoping no one would notice.

I am not accusing you of wrongdoing — I wonder if you had any idea of what you were getting into flying Spirit. The reason I say this is it would have cost less to pay for the checked luggage before getting to the counter ie online.
 
Jul 2, 2018
28
15
3
45
#8
Two things.

First, I wouldn't say the OP challenged the attendant who was checking them in. They were given two options - pay now or pay at the gate and they chose to pay at the gate. And they have the right to chose the more expensive option. And maybe they wanted to see if they could get it for free. So far as I know, looking for a good deal shouldn't be grounds for pulling the OP off the plane.

Which brings me to my second point. Isn't this exactly like another post that we have seen in the last couple of months, including an agent screaming down the breezeway at the poster? I didn't think it was on Spirit though. Maybe AA?
 
Likes: victoria6156
Sep 19, 2015
4,258
5,597
113
48
#9
Two things.

First, I wouldn't say the OP challenged the attendant who was checking them in. They were given two options - pay now or pay at the gate and they chose to pay at the gate. And they have the right to chose the more expensive option. And maybe they wanted to see if they could get it for free. So far as I know, looking for a good deal shouldn't be grounds for pulling the OP off the plane.

Which brings me to my second point. Isn't this exactly like another post that we have seen in the last couple of months, including an agent screaming down the breezeway at the poster? I didn't think it was on Spirit though. Maybe AA?

From the airlines standpoint, bringing carry on without paying is not a "good deal" it is theft of services. That is what people get ticketed for where I live for jumping the turnstile and not paying for the subway -- but maybe to the turnstile jumpers it is a "good deal" to take the subway and not pay for it.

And once the person announced that they did it before, it is not a stretch to think that the gate agents would watch them.

I would never take Spirit and think they are lousy; but once one buys a ticket on them, it is fee time and one needs to pay.

Does not mean that the passenger should have been removed, I have no idea how they interacted with each other.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Neil Maley

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,425
1,395
113
Maui Hawaii
#10
Two things.

First, I wouldn't say the OP challenged the attendant who was checking them in. They were given two options - pay now or pay at the gate and they chose to pay at the gate. And they have the right to chose the more expensive option. And maybe they wanted to see if they could get it for free. So far as I know, looking for a good deal shouldn't be grounds for pulling the OP off the plane.

Which brings me to my second point. Isn't this exactly like another post that we have seen in the last couple of months, including an agent screaming down the breezeway at the poster? I didn't think it was on Spirit though. Maybe AA?
You may be referencing this thread from Aug 26:
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/c...-shore-operation-humiliation.8550/#post-88361

The OP was told if he behaved in this manner in the US he would have been arrested, as the OP in the current thread was given a ticket (unclear from post why he was ticketed).
 
May 26, 2018
38
32
18
68
#11
Good evening Mr. Fornaro and Mr.Christie,

I am emailing you all to bring to your attention the mistreatment from your staff Jerry Davison as well as Troy Coleman and Manager Frank Jackson. on Sunday September 30th, 2018. While making my first stop in the Detroit airport to check in at the front counter, I carried with me a large check-in luggage, suit bag, and backpack. I checked in my large luggage and paid for it as I did coming to Detroit, but was asked by the person at the front counter that I also have to pay for my suit bag. I let them know that this was something that was not required from Spirit when making my trip to Detroit from Fort Lauderdale and she continued to explain to me that I will either have to pay for the suit bag here or at the airline gate. I took the option of paying at the airline gate which seemed to be a problem for her because she made it a point to follow me and my colleague, who also was having the same bag issue. stood by us when we were in line and when we got to the gate, which at this point I felt harassed. She began to be rude and obnoxious so I asked for her and her partner at the counters name because they both showed very poor customer service and I wanted to be able to let someone know how I was treated and who was treating me this way. After asking for their names several times and them refusing, I then asked for a manager and they gave me their names after that. We paid for our suit bags as promised in the beginning and proceeded to walk down to board the plane. While walking down to board she yelled at us after I scanned my boarding pass and walked through. Once we were seated a manager came and instructed me to de-board the plane. I refused because as a paying customer I deserve the right to know why I am being singled out and told to get out of my seat when a did nothing wrong. I asked multiple times why I needed to get off and no one could tell me. This caused the cops to be called and a ticket issued to me all for poor customer service given by Spirit airlines. I then had to purchase a ticket through a different airline to get home for work on time. When arriving back to my home airport, Fort Lauderdale, I waited for my luggage to come out just to find out my bags were sent to Atlanta, GA. As if this situation wasn’t stressful and inconveniencing enough, my bags being sent to the wrong place after being forced to pay for them topped it all off in the worse way. I then was not even given the option to have my bags sent to my home I had travel 45 minutes to the airport to retrieve them when this was not my fault.i will have to follow up with Detroit police due making everyone leave the plane with their belongings. As a customer this is not how I should be treated. One of your standard products is said that you all have “friendly staff” but I experienced none of this at the Detroit airport and I am highly disappointed and upset about the entire situation.
I think it should be noted that we only have the one lengthy complaint which is more like a rant. What is being requested? No response from the airline (or did anyone request it?) that I've seen. I would have to say that if you fly Spirit you should EXPECT this type of nickel-and-dime (more like $20-and-$50) activity. That doesn't mean that staff should be nasty to paying customers.
 
May 16, 2016
25
72
13
51
#12
The ticket counter and gatehouse are not the place to try and resolve a policy dispute with an airline. The front-line employees do not have the power to waive a policy for you because you said it was waived on the inbound flight (how could they verify that?), and they risk being reprimanded or fired if they don't follow the policy as they are trained. If you feel that you're being treated unfairly, you should document everything that happened (you don't need to angrily demand people's names - that is generally perceived as belligerent and threatening by people in customer-service roles). Note the date and time, your flight numbers, the gate number, etc., and send a short, politely-worded letter with specific details to the company as outlined in the process here on elliott.org or on the company's Web site. The company can figure out who was working and with whom you interacted. They don't want terrible people working for their airline, and they will usually look into it, provided you aren't asking for the moon and the stars.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,111
15,587
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
The ticket counter and gatehouse are not the place to try and resolve a policy dispute with an airline. The front-line employees do not have the power to waive a policy for you because you said it was waived on the inbound flight (how could they verify that?), and they risk being reprimanded or fired if they don't follow the policy as they are trained. If you feel that you're being treated unfairly, you should document everything that happened (you don't need to angrily demand people's names - that is generally perceived as belligerent and threatening by people in customer-service roles). Note the date and time, your flight numbers, the gate number, etc., and send a short, politely-worded letter with specific details to the company as outlined in the process here on elliott.org or on the company's Web site. The company can figure out who was working and with whom you interacted. They don't want terrible people working for their airline, and they will usually look into it, provided you aren't asking for the moon and the stars.
100% agreement with this.

And what’s even worse is the fact that the writer should have been charged for the bag. It seems like this might have been deliberately done and not caught on the first flight and the second agent knew what the writer was attempting to do.

All we can do is recommend the OP uses our company contacts and write to Spirit. I think the OP might assume that whoever he addressed his letter to reads these posts .
 
Oct 10, 2016
124
88
28
Huntley, IL
#14
Neil makes a very good point.

A suit bag is too large to count as a personal item. Your backpack was the free personal item.

By declaring that you did not pay for the suit bag on the way there it sounds like you snuck it on board when you should have paid.

Then you refuse to pay for it at the counter. It costs approximately $10 more to pay at the gate versus the counter.

If one was honestly planning on paying why spend more at the gate versus the counter?

The check in agent likely thought this delayed payment was attempt to not pay at all hoping no one would notice.

I am not accusing you of wrongdoing — I wonder if you had any idea of what you were getting into flying Spirit. The reason I say this is it would have cost less to pay for the checked luggage before getting to the counter ie online.
Regarding the comment that he did not pay for the suit bag on the first flight, perhaps the agent let it go through. I have had a similar experience flying from ORD to YUL on United. I had one carryon bag. On the outbound flight it was accepted. On my return flight, I was told it was too big and needed to be checked. I told the agent that it was the same bag as it was on the outbound flight. I paid for it but complained to United and received a $25 Visa gift car.

As far as Spirit Airlines goes, IT IS THE WORST.. On a flight from Ft. Meyers to O'Hare the lobby was so congested one could not see which line was going to Detroit and which line was going to Chicago. I had a counter agent follow me to the gate and threaten to not allow me on the plane because I had asked to see a supervisor at the counter.

I spent several months trying to get some compensation for their poor customer service, but it was worth it, as I got 4 Round Trip flights from them.

I would rather walk than fly Spirit.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,258
5,597
113
48
#16
Regarding the comment that he did not pay for the suit bag on the first flight, perhaps the agent let it go through. I have had a similar experience flying from ORD to YUL on United. I had one carryon bag. On the outbound flight it was accepted. On my return flight, I was told it was too big and needed to be checked. I told the agent that it was the same bag as it was on the outbound flight. I paid for it but complained to United and received a $25 Visa gift car.

As far as Spirit Airlines goes, IT IS THE WORST.. On a flight from Ft. Meyers to O'Hare the lobby was so congested one could not see which line was going to Detroit and which line was going to Chicago. I had a counter agent follow me to the gate and threaten to not allow me on the plane because I had asked to see a supervisor at the counter.

I spent several months trying to get some compensation for their poor customer service, but it was worth it, as I got 4 Round Trip flights from them.

I would rather walk than fly Spirit.
With the United baggage issue it was a question of size. Somebtimes there is some discretion —a bag with the handle may be slightly too large for the sizer and one lets it go another does not.

With Spirit it was not a question of size — it was a carry on and every carry on has to be paid. Spirit only gives one small personal item without a fee.

But you handled the issue properly with UA.

Even though you had an issue and experiencesdthe angry gate agent with Spirit it never got to the point where you were asked to leave the plane.
I would never take Spirit. I suspect the culture of working there is terrible. But people keep flying them

Here is how Spirit’s CFO discusses their earnings:

"We must remain focused to also deliver on the full profit potential of the business in the face of a very competitive industry. With elevated domestic capacity growth, low costs are even more important today than ever," Chief Financial Officer Edward Christie said on the airline's earnings call.

Spirit's model of low ticket prices depends on high flight volume, aggressive fees for non-ticket items and keeping operating costs low.

(Article from Reuters)

Full profit potential means hyper aggressive fee collection — and keeping operating costs low also means hiring at lower wages for people that work there.
 
Oct 10, 2016
124
88
28
Huntley, IL
#17
I believe that what happensed to you happened to him. You got away with not paying even though you should have and tried it again and got caught. It must happen enough to have outraged the the gate agent .
Neil, I am not sure to whom you are directing your response, Clifford who tried to carry on a suit bag or me who had the issue with the carryon bag but I did not "away with not paying". It was a carryon size that was allowed on the outbound flight but not on the return flight. I have discovered that no all of those metal frames into which one is to fit their carryon are NOT all the same size. Also, they are not all of the same construction. Some are open on all 4 sides and some are closed on 2-4 sides. They vary by airport
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,111
15,587
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Neil, I am not sure to whom you are directing your response, Clifford who tried to carry on a suit bag or me who had the issue with the carryon bag but I did not "away with not paying". It was a carryon size that was allowed on the outbound flight but not on the return flight. I have discovered that no all of those metal frames into which one is to fit their carryon are NOT all the same size. Also, they are not all of the same construction. Some are open on all 4 sides and some are closed on 2-4 sides. They vary by airport
Thank you for clarifying. With Spirit, if you want to know if you are going to be charged or not, you can simply go to their website and input your flights - the website tells you if there is a charge for your particular flight.

For the Detroit to Fll flight there is a charge for A carry on. They state the Alpert carry on size is 18” by 14” by 8”- the size of a laptop bag. If the suit bag was larger then that there is a charge. They allow a carry on larger you just need to pay for it.

https://www.spirit.com/OptionalServices#Fare-Price

Fighting the gate attendants doesn’t help a case. It appears you may not have but the OP did.